Leading Healthy Rice Bowl Chain Closes Impressive First Half of 2021 with Q2 SSS Up Nearly 40%
City of Industry, CA (RestaurantNews.com) WaBa Grill, one of the nation’s leading healthy rice bowl chains, has announced that Q2 2021 was the top-performing sales quarter in the brand’s 15-year history, with same store sales (SSS) up 39.2% over Q2 2020. Additionally, the brand’s Q2 SSS represents a jump of a remarkable 28.7% over the same pre-pandemic period for 2019, illustrating extraordinary momentum as the first half of 2021 concluded. Last year, WaBa Grill recorded the best sales year in its history, and the brand known for its healthy and fresh menu is on pace to topple that record.
“As we recognize our record-breaking Q2 sales, we salute our outstanding and hard-working franchisees who continue to care deeply for their guests and the communities where they conduct business,” said Andrew Kim, President & CEO of WaBa Grill. “The demand for healthy fast casual continues to flourish, and I’m confident in our lasting ability to thrive in a marketplace driven by quality ingredients, healthy menu options and bold flavors – a trio of consumer demands that are hallmarks of WaBa Grill.”
WaBa Grill’s total store sales (TSS) also impressed in Q2, eclipsing the previous company record for TSS in any quarter by more than $4.5 million. Even more, for the first time in company history, total quarterly sales exceeded $40 million. Strong digital sales, which continue to improve, currently represent nearly 25% of total sales. Also, WaBa Grill’s low-cost delivery channel continues to thrive, fueled by impressive guest feedback scores that demonstrate customer awareness and appreciation for WaBa Grill’s internal delivery offering versus its competitors.
Record-setting results weren’t the only exciting news in Q2. In May, WaBa Grill proudly announced a new plant-based protein option in collaboration with the nation’s #1 tofu brand, Nasoya® Foods USA. WaBa Gril’s Plantspired Steak, a Korean-inspired alternative to steak, marks the first time Nasoya® has teamed with a large restaurant chain. WaBa began serving the Plantspired protein at its nearly 200 locations on Aug. 2, powering the healthy fast casual brand’s ongoing effort to expand its plant-based and dietary-specific menu offerings.
WaBa Grill’s marketplace acclaim also peaked in Q2, as the company was recognized as one of America’s top-performing restaurant chains. In June, WaBa Grill was named to two coveted industry reports for its outstanding 2020 performance. The brand debuted at #205 on the prestigious Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) Top 500 report based on domestic systemwide sales in 2020. Moreover, for the second consecutive year, WaBa Grill landed on Restaurant Business’ List of Highest-Grossing Restaurant Chains, jumping 50 spots to #190 on the publication’s 2021 report.
“Tremendous momentum and excitement abound as we enter the second half of 2021, and it has been inspiring to see the sales growth and success our franchisees have experienced over the past few years despite global headwinds,” said Mark Finnegan, Chief Marketing & Information Officer at WaBa Grill. “Especially during our 15th anniversary year, we have so much to celebrate at Waba Grill. As we continue to expand throughout California and beyond with the support of new and existing franchise partners, our brand is absolutely firing on all cylinders!”
For 15 years, WaBa Grill has been serving its famous rice bowls, plates and salads made with fresh vegetables, healthy grains and high-quality proteins including fresh, never frozen chicken, marinated ribeye steak, wild-caught salmon, jumbo shrimp, and organic tofu, all prepared to order on an open-fire grill and customized with a variety of flavorful sauces including the fan favorite WaBa Sauce. Along with takeout and curbside pickup, guests may place orders via the WaBa Rewards App for always low-cost delivery along with any of WaBa’s third-party delivery partners.
The nearly 200-unit brand is primed to continue expansion having identified key markets throughout the western U.S. and is seeking franchise partners interested in expanding their portfolios with an established healthy fast casual brand on the rise. For more details about partnering with WaBa Grill, visit www.wabagrill.com/franchise.
About WaBa Grill
WaBa Grill was founded in 2006 on the principle that healthy food made with quality ingredients should be accessible to all. With a goal of serving the best possible food on the go, WaBa’s famous rice bowls, plates and salads are made with fresh vegetables, healthy grains and high-quality proteins including fresh, never frozen chicken, marinated ribeye steak, wild-caught salmon, jumbo shrimp and organic tofu, all prepared to order on an open-fire grill and customized with a variety of flavorful sauces including the fan favorite WaBa Sauce. No microwaves, no frying, no artificial additives… ever. Learn more at www.WaBaGrill.com.
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